So, you're off to Kyoto for a vacation, and you're swinging by Osaka as well... or if you're saving money on your hotel you're staying in Osaka. You want to try some good local food. What are your options?
Most people will probably recommend taking part in a traditional tea ceremony in Kyoto, or even an entire traditional dinner. These are great experiences, though costly, and can be had at restaurants all over Japan. Instead, be sure to try some of the dishes and foods the area is known for. Really, Kyoto meals are based on the presentation of the dishes and flavors, and not specific dishes.
There's also battera, a block-type sushi based on original primitive sushi. Kitsune udon is a noodle dish with soup (similar to ramen) served with a large piece of fried tofu. And for those of you that like teppanyaki (like Benihana), you can find those restaurants in Osaka. Many people, myself included before coming to Japan, called this style of cooking "hibachi" but hibachi style involves grilling over charcoal or a flame, not on a hot plate.
Osaka is known for its food culture, so finding restaurants isn't difficult. And a trip to Kansai should include sampling some of the best unhealthy food Japan has to offer.